Thanks to the three Slams won in 2021, Novak Djokovic has managed to equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Slam titles. Being by far the fittest of the three, the Serbian champion will have the chance to overtake as early as the US Open later this month.
The number 1 in the world could carry out a historic ‘Calendar Grand Slam’, a titanic feat that has never been successful since the days of Rod Laver. The 34-year-old from Belgrade was unable to complete the ‘Calendar Golden Slam’, however, as his run at the Tokyo Olympics ended in the semifinals against Alexander Zverev.
Nole has paid a very high price for the efforts of recent months, so much so that he suffered a psycho-physical collapse that prevented him from completing his mission at the Games. Djokovic will miss the Toronto Masters 1000 next week, while he is expected to be at the start in Cincinnati before flying to New York.
Sunil Gavaskar – the legendary Indian cricket player – has expressed some thoughts about it on the ‘Sportstar’ portal.
Gavaskar opens up on Novak Djokovic
“Novak Djokovic’s loss at the Olympics means, unlike Steffi Graf in 1988, he won’t be able to complete the Golden Slam, which is winning all four Majors as well as the Olympic title,” Gavaskar wrote.
“Mind you, he still has to win the last major of the year, the US Open, for the calendar year Grand Slam, but maybe the loss at the Olympics will give him a little more time to regroup and focus on the tournament starting in a month’s time.”
Sunil Gavaskar believes Djokovic’s losses were not too surprising given the caliber of his opponents and the fact that matches were played in the best-of-three format. “Djokovic’s defeat came against a top-10 opponent, so it wasn’t a total surprise and it also happened at a tournament that is a best-of-three-sets event, which is a whole different ball game as a lot of top players take a little time to get going and so can be beaten in the best-of-three-sets format,” Gavaskar wrote.
“We saw at the French Open how Djokovic came back from two sets down to win the next three and win the title, so the shorter the format, the better the chances of lesser players to beat the top guys,” he added. “It’s like the Twenty20 format in cricket where any team can beat anybody and the rankings don’t always work out.”